Mount Sinai cancels all first-dose COVID vaccine appointments


The Mount Sinai hospital system has abruptly canceled all scheduled first-dose coronavirus vaccinations for members of the public — and is reportedly blaming the reallocation of supplies to government-run inoculation sites.

The mass cancellation was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the hospital network after first being reported Tuesday by Gothamist.

“Unfortunately, due to sudden changes in vaccine supply, we have been forced to cancel existing public vaccination appointments,” said Lucia Lee. “All persons impacted were notified via email and text messages.

“Upon delivery of additional vaccine, we will reopen vaccination appointments for eligible patients,” Lee continued. “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.”

But privately, some at the hospital network fear that Mount Sinai may have administered its last vaccine to the public, according to Gothamist.

In a Sunday letter obtained by the outlet, chief medical officer Dr. Vicki LoPachin informed Mount Sinai staffers that state and city officials “revised their vaccine allocation plan” for this week in light of the recent rapid expansion of those New Yorkers eligible for inoculation.

“We, like other health systems across the region and the state, will be getting no new supply of first-dose vaccines this week,” LoPachin reportedly wrote.

Dr. Timothy Harkin receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at Mount Sinai Hospital on December 15, 2020.
Dr. Timothy Harkin receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at Mount Sinai Hospital on December 15, 2020.

Consequently, Mount Sinai was forced to cancel all scheduled appointments for members of the public to receive the first dose of the two-dose vaccine, LoPachin reportedly announced, with appointments for Mount Sinai employees to get the first-dose being cut off after Feb. 23.

Existing second-dose appointments will still be honored, according to the report.

LoPachin went on to imply that the crux of the issue is the shift of vaccine supplies away from hospitals and toward city- and state-run mass inoculation sites, the outlet said.

A Mount Sinai source told Gothamist that there is a pervasive fear that the shift is more than temporary.

“For patients, it’s tough,” said the insider, a health care administrator working in vaccine distribution speaking on condition of anonymity. “Our calendar was blown out the first day that the appointments were open.”

The administrator estimated that the appointments canceled at Mount Sinai numbered in the thousands.

Neither the state nor city immediately responded to requests for comment to The Post.

A patient getting wheeled at Mount Sinai Hospital.
A patient getting wheeled at Mount Sinai Hospital.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Like other vaccination sites, private and public, Mount Sinai was forced to postpone appointments last month as supplies of doses ran dry across New York.

But the overall inoculation effort has since rebounded, on the strength of increased weekly allocations from the federal government.

The effort, however, may again be set for a test with the recent additions of restaurant workers, taxi drivers and those with certain comorbidities to the eligible list, swelling the pool of potential recipients vying for appointments.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan and Nolan Hicks


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